Sequential Images


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Sequential Images

  1. 2. “ A picture is worth a thousand words”
  2. 3. "A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound.“ Turgenev Ivan, Fathers and Sons [1862] 2005, Kessinger Publishing
  3. 4. GAMES AS TEXT Text – (used to refer to) a sequence of coherent sentences Text – A cultural object that can be “read” and meaning extracted Accessed 21/08/08 13:30
  4. 5. SEMIOTICS <ul><li>Semiology is referred to as the “science of signs” </li></ul><ul><li>The practice of Semiology is called Semiotics. </li></ul><ul><li>Semiotics and Structuralism are closely related schools of thought. </li></ul>
  5. 6. SEMIOTICS <ul><li>Semiotics is “the general (if tentative) science of signs: systems of signification, means by which human beings – individually or in groups – communicate or attempt to communicate by signal: gestures, advertisements, language itself, food, objects, clothes, music, and the many other things that qualify” </li></ul><ul><li>Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought: Bullock and Stallybrass 1977 </li></ul>
  6. 7. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS <ul><li>Saussure and “structural linguistics” from; </li></ul><ul><li>Course in General Linguistics </li></ul><ul><li>Saussure was one of the first to take a structural approach to language, he saw language as a system and instead of thinking it was transparent and a reflection of thought he saw it as a system that structures thought and reality. </li></ul>
  7. 8. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS <ul><li>Saussure and “structural linguistics” </li></ul><ul><li>Saussure thought that we do not speak language, but language “speaks us”, it constructs what is possible for us to see, believe and understand. Language works through association, it is a system of parts that combine to construct meaning. </li></ul>
  8. 9. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS (we’ll come back to these terms next week when we look at narrative)
  9. 10. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS (Games are often used and an analogy in structural linguistics to explain relationship between these two.)
  10. 11. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS (Coupled together these make a sign and the relationship is one of CONVENTION.)
  11. 12. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS <ul><li>A side note – Signifying Chains </li></ul><ul><li>Signs (especially words) have multiple meanings and what is signified by these signs can change with the signs that surround them, they are do not have fixed meaning. </li></ul>
  12. 13. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS <ul><li>A side note – Signifying Chains (an example) </li></ul><ul><li>Horse – Animal, Food, Vaulting/Gym, Heroin </li></ul><ul><li>Pigs – Animal, Food, Police </li></ul><ul><li>I like horse… </li></ul><ul><li>But I don’t like pigs… </li></ul><ul><li>They always arrest you for possession. </li></ul>
  13. 14. STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS SEMIOTICS <ul><li>The work of Saussure developing a way to talk about language as a system of signifiers, signified and signs lead to the development of a discipline called semiotics by theorists such as Roland Barthes and the application of these structural ways of thinking to culture and the cultural object. </li></ul>
  14. 15. SEMIOTICS <ul><li>Semiologists believe that reality is “culturally constructed”, reality is never innocent and can be understood and de-coded using semiotics. It looks for signs (or what McCloud refers to as symbols) that contain meaning. McCloud refers to symbols and their meaning in the sequential arts (comics). </li></ul>
  15. 16. SEMIOTIC DOMAINS <ul><li>Some Semiologists refer to “semiotic domains” which is an area within culture where the signs have meaning. We use the signs within a semiotic domain to de-code what we see and create meaning from a text. </li></ul>
  17. 18. SEMIOTICS <ul><li>As with the written word people can be literate within a semiotic domain (1). Take for instance the early platform games, a smaller version of your avatar as a collectable item is a sign for an extra life, this has become a universal sign within this semiotic domain. If you play platform games regularly you understand these kinds of signs. </li></ul>(1) Gee J, P. The Game Design Reader - Semiotic Domains: Is Playing Video Games a “Waste of Time?”
  18. 19. Boulder Earth Diamond Teleporter Wall Egg “ Free Space” Repton (Me) Repton 3, Superior Interactive 1986, BBC Micro Example from YouTube
  19. 20. Genre – Rocks ‘n’ Diamonds Boulderdash, Bonecrusher, Crystal Mines etc. Because I understand the genre and can be said to be literate within the conventions of the semiotic domain will I be able to understand and play this game? Boulder Earth Diamond Teleporter Wall Egg “ Free Space” Repton (Me)
  20. 21. Alex Kidd in Miracle World, SEGA 1986, Master System Example from YouTube